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Rwanda: Man Arrested For Growing Marijuana At Home Claims It’s Legal

A 35-year-old man in Kabarondo, Kayonza District, was Wednesday evening arrested over growing 157 cannabis trees in his home.

The suspect, a resident of Akagarama Village, Kabura Cell, was identified as Jean-Claude Rwabuhenda.

Having separated from his wife, Rwabuhenda lives alone in his house, which is tightly fenced.

“His house is surrounded by a marijuana plantation,” said Jean-Paul Kagabo, the Executive Secretary of Kabarondo Sector.

The official explained that the suspect never used to entertain visitors in his home, which allowed him to plant the crop without his neighbours’ noticing.

Upon his arrest, Kagabo said, the suspect confessed to having planted marijuana—arguing that it was a legitimate business that was approved by the government.

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A cabinet meeting on October 12, 2020, approved guidelines that allow the growing of cannabis in Rwanda. However, the guidelines centre on cultivating, processing and export of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Medical cannabis produced in Rwanda is solely for export markets, according to the guidelines.

“Using, producing, selling and consuming illicit drugs is dangerous. People should do legitimate businesses,” the Executive Secretary warned.

Kagabo also discussed the importance of collaboration between citizens and local leaders, saying that the residents were instrumental in the arrest of Rwabuhenda.

The suspect is currently detained at Rwanda Investigation Bureau Kabarondo station pending investigations.

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